Healthy Living

Definition of Healthy Living

Definition of Healthy Living
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 “Health is not simply the absence of sickness.”

What is the true definition of Healthy Living? It sounds silly that we need to define Healthy Living. After all, we know what Healthy is and we also know what Living is. Let‘s first start with what Health is.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Interestingly enough, health is not simply defined as just the absence of disease. The actual definition of Healthy Living is the steps, actions and strategies one puts in place to achieve optimum health. Healthy Living is about taking responsibility and making smart health choices for today and for the future. Eating right, getting physically fit, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness and prevention are all apart of creating a healthy lifestyle. Since the entire YOU, meaning all aspects of one’s self, must work in harmony to achieve wellness, you need to put balanced energy into each aspect of yourself.

• The body or Physical You requires good nutrition, appropriate weight, beneficial exercise, adequate rest and proper stress management.

• The mind or Emotional You needs self-supportive attitudes, positive thoughts and viewpoints and a positive self-image. You also need to give and receive forgiveness, love and compassion; you need to laugh and experience happiness; you need joyful relationships with yourself and others.

• The Spiritual You requires inner calmness, openness to your creativity, and trust in your inner knowing. And for some it requires having a relationship with a higher power.

We all know when the Physical You is out of balance. Our body tells us right away. We feel fatigue or catch a cold or maybe become chronically ill. But how do we know when the Emotional You or Spiritual You are out of balance?

The American Holistic Health Association developed the following simple quiz to help identify areas you may need to add to your Healthy Living Plan. Here are some questions:

Wellness Quiz:

-Do you wake up with enthusiasm for the day ahead?

-Do you have the high energy you need to do what you want?

-Do you laugh easily and often, especially at yourself?

-Do you confidently find solutions for the challenges in your life?

-Do you feel valued and appreciated?

-Do you appreciate others and let them know it?

-Do you have a circle of warm, caring friends?

-Do the choices you make every day get you what you want?
If you answered “yes” too many of these questions, congratulations! But if you answered “no” to several of them, you have identified areas in your life that you may want to change. This can be valuable information. These questions all relate to our emotional and spiritual selves. And to truly define Healthy Living for ourselves and create a healthy living strategy it is important that we address the whole self. Each individual needs to identify their own definition of Healthy Living for themselves. For example,

– If you smoke, part of a healthy living strategy for you would be to quit smoking.

– If you don’t have a social support system, then one of your strategies would be to make more friends.

– If you never see a doctor, then part of your health strategy would be to have an annual checkup to practice preventive health care.

Sit down and outline your definition of Healthy Living. List all your negative habits, the ones that contribute to your unhealthy lifestyle (i.e. smoking, excessive alcohol consumption). You may even want to consider your sexual habits and ask yourself if you are practicing unsafe sex. Then take the time to list your current health conditions. Taking the Wellness Quiz will help identify other significant areas that you need to include while outlining your definition of Healthy Living. Once you have all your information written down it’s time to create your Healthy Living Plan. Below is an outline adapted from the American Holistic Health Association. You may find this helpful in listing your goals.

Add as many goals as you need to this outline. Once you have completed your definition of Healthy Living and have turned that into a concrete plan, it’s time to prioritize. Pick a few of the goals that you feel are most important to your overall health and happiness and start with those. Don’t try to do them all at once that’s a sure fire way to fail! Start with 2-3 for a month and then add one per month until you have achieved all your goals. Achieving total health requires taking responsibility, making a commitment to yourself, creating a plan and then taking action. If you can follow these simple steps you will be on your way to living a healthier life.

Look for the positive in every situation.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Be aware of my thoughts and feelings.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Eat a healthy diet.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Value myself and my creativity.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Exercise regularly.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Stay open to new ideas.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Get adequate rest.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Accept change willingly.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Express emotions appropriately.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Make decisions based on what I think is best for me.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Respect myself and others.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

Practice preventive health care.

Steps I will take to achieve this goal:

 

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Michelle Toole